Cranial Nerve V

This nerve, known as the trigeminal nerve, carries out important sensory and motor functions for the face. The trigeminal nerve is the general sensory nerve for the head; it mediates somatic sensation in the face by means of three subdivisions—the ophthalmic (V1), maxillary (V2), and mandibular (V3) branches— which converge in the trigeminal ganglion outside the brain stem and then enter the pons. A secondary relay to the brain then sends this facial somatosensory information to the ventral posterior medial nucleus of the thalamus, where it is processed and brought to consciousness. Somatic sensation for the head posterior to the face is mediated by the second and third

Lateral geniculate Lateral nucleus

Lateral geniculate Lateral nucleus

Figure 7 Central connections of the visual system. Fibers from the eyes reach the lateral geniculate nucleus, whence relays proceed to the occipital cortex. The relay in the temporal lobe is known as Meyer's loop. Reprinted with permission from Nolte, J. (1999). The Human Brain, 4th ed., p. 419. Mosby, New York.

Figure 7 Central connections of the visual system. Fibers from the eyes reach the lateral geniculate nucleus, whence relays proceed to the occipital cortex. The relay in the temporal lobe is known as Meyer's loop. Reprinted with permission from Nolte, J. (1999). The Human Brain, 4th ed., p. 419. Mosby, New York.

cervical nerves that enter the spinal cord before traveling to the thalamus. The trigeminal nerve also has a motor division that originates in the pons and supplies the muscles of mastication (chewing).

involvement. The facial nerve also has one notable sensory function, which is to convey taste from the anterior two-thirds of the tongue, via a branch called the chorda tympani, to the solitary tract in the pons and medulla.

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